The tragedy of losing a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident is an experience that no one should ever have to go through. However, on average, there are approximately 70 fatal Maryland motorcycle accidents each year. While some of these accidents are attributable to rider error, many involve negligent motorists who failed to take account of their surroundings.
Under Maryland law, when a person is killed due to another’s negligence, the surviving loved ones of the accident victim can pursue a Maryland wrongful death claim against all responsible parties. It is important the families of accident victims understand that Maryland law requires that a proper party file a wrongful death claim. Under Maryland Code § 3-904, a “primary beneficiary” must be the one to bring the claim. Primary beneficiaries are defined as the “wife, husband, parent, or child of the deceased.” If no primary beneficiary exists, “any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased” can bring the claim. These are referred to as secondary beneficiaries.
Once a party establishes that they are a proper party, they must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions were the cause of their loved one’s death. In this sense, a wrongful death case is similar to a traditional Maryland personal injury case, requiring a plaintiff to establish the four elements of a negligence claim: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Washington, D.C. Motorcycle Accident Claims One Woman’s Life
In May of 2019, a Coast Guard officer died in a fatal Washington, D.C. motorcycle accident. According to a local news report, the accident occurred as the accident victim was heading southbound on Capital Street NW, a little after 5 a.m. Evidently, as the motorcyclist was attempting to make a left turn onto Firth Sterling Avenue SE, a car approaching in the opposite direction struck her. Both the motorcyclist and the other motorist were hospitalized with serious injuries. The motorcyclist was placed on life support, but died a few days after the accident.
While Maryland traffic laws generally state that a motorist making a left turn must yield to oncoming traffic, there are exceptions where the oncoming motorist must yield. For example, if the oncoming motorist is traveling in excess of the speed limit, that motorist may lose the right-of-way. In this situation, the oncoming motorist could be at fault. Police are currently investigating the fatal motorcycle accident, and have not yet announced whether the motorist will face any criminal charges as a result of her involvement.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident?
If you have recently lost a loved one in a Maryland motorcycle accident, contact the dedicated Maryland wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have a proud history of successfully helping the families of accident victims pursue claims against those responsible for their loss. To learn more about how we can help, and to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Maryland personal injury advocate, call 410-654-3600 today.